In today’s business world, communication is one of the most significant parts of work and getting work done — nothing works without it. But what is the best tool that organizations can use to increase and improve communication, decreasing time to market and beating project deadlines? There are two comparable tools that many organizations have in their communication arsenals at the moment — Slack and Microsoft Teams. Let’s take a closer look at both to determine which one is the best for your business or organization.
Microsoft Teams is the new chat-based workspace in Office 365, intended to bring people, content, and conversations together in ways never before imagined. The purpose of the new app is to allow business and organizational teams (and others) to have a space for discussion, collaboration, and content sharing that has never been possible before. One of the pluses of using Microsoft Teams is that it’s already integrated with other Microsoft apps and built in the cloud. Microsoft Team was built with the knowledge that business and organizational collaboration is different than it used to be — agile structures are built to keeping information and progress going consistently.
Microsoft Teams was built to bring teams together and make working on project easy and intuitive. The platform combines chat, meetings, notes, and attachments, featuring extensions for integration with products not from the Microsoft suite. Microsoft Teams is easy to set up, and a created Team is the home for different chat rooms, called channels. Since sometimes you want the whole group to talk together and sometimes you only want a few people in a discussion, different channels allow you to speak privately with different members of the group as needed.
If a face-to-face conversation is necessary, Microsoft Teams members can quickly enter a Skype (voice or video) discussion with other participants. No more going to an outside application like Zoom to connect and discuss things in real time — one click will get you there. One of the best project-based features of Microsoft Teams is the ability to use SharePoint, a receptacle for files that you may want to share with members of your team. The app also connects to PowerPoint, OneNote, Planner, Delve, and Power BI. The integration makes sharing updated documents, presentations, and spreadsheets easy, including collaborative writing or editing projects. Team members are notified of updates within the selected files.
Slack is an established chat group workspace that helps teams collaborate as well, and has proven wildly popular thus far. Like Microsoft Teams, Slack has groups and channels, organized in any way that works for your organization. For instance, you can organize groups by a topic, a project, or a by a team; you determine which. Slack conversations are searchable by everyone so company knowledge and information can be found rapidly. Slack includes 2FA and SSO for safety and security of your data.
Slack brings your work teams together like Microsoft Teams, and does integrate with outside applications such as Adobe Acrobat and Word. Documents are uploadable and viewable from inside the application. If you’re done collaborating with a team, you can simply leave that team and avoid getting future notifications that may disturb you while you work on a new project. Threads allow short discussions or questions to be asked without interrupting the flow of the main thread, or bothering team members who don’t need to answer a particular question.
Slack allows you to add clients, partners, and vendors to channels, increasing the ability for collaboration with projects, getting the information you need to move projects forward, and voice or video calls through Slack. Screen sharing in Slack is an excellent way to demonstrate something to a client or a colleague. Just click the screen share button and everyone can see what you’ve been working on. Files can be dragged and dropped directly into Slack, as well.
The answer to this question depends on what type of organization you are a part of. Microsoft Teams is excellent for organizations that already use Microsoft 365, as well as larger enterprises and the U.S. government. Slack is great for startups or smaller organizations and can integrate with software across the board — it has also been free for beginners since its inception. Microsoft Teams recently released a new tier at no cost so the price for both is exactly the same, but Slack seems to be easier to get started on. Less important comparisons include color and design choices (Slack has a lot while Microsoft Teams only has 3); text formatting abilities (Microsoft Teams allows bulleted lists and font color changes, which Slack does not); and gif insertion. Slack has “reminders” in case you don’t have time to respond to a comment now but want to respond later. Notification systems on both apps are efficient if not ideal. Microsoft Teams allows for larger file uploads, too. Essentially, Slack works better for smaller organizations and Microsoft Teams for larger ones, but the choice is basically academic at this point — your organization can use either.
If you’re thinking of using a cloud group collaboration tool, LAN Infotech can help you decide, get you started, and support your organization as needed through Microsoft Teams consulting.